Starkville, MS -- June 4, 2012 --
Head coach Thomas Macera and assistant coaches Stephanie Carlson, Lindsay Campana and Jordon Yost of the 2012 NCAA Division II National Champion Valdosta State have been named as the National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association’s Division II National Coaching Staff of the Year, the Association announced Monday.
The Blazers went 58-5 overall and 26-1 in the Gulf South Conference to clinch the conference regular season crown. Valdosta State did not lose a conference game until the final day of the regular season when the conference record-breaking 36-game win-streak finally came to an end.
In the postseason, VSU won its fourth consecutive GSC tournament title and its sixth overall with a perfect 5-0 record. In the regional round, the Blazers won the first two games before falling in the first game of the final to Rollins, forcing an “If Necessary Game.” In the winner-take-all final, Valdosta State grinded out a 1-0 win to move on to Super Regionals for the third time in four years.
In the Super Regionals, the Blazers swept Florida Southern in two games, the first going 16 innings, to advance to the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament. The appearance in the final eight marked the second time in three seasons the Blazers advanced to the national championship game.
The Blazers dropped their opening game of the tournament to defending champion UC San Diego, forcing them into the elimination bracket. Valdosta State went on to win four games in three days, including beating Kutztown and the NCAA Division II Pitcher of the Year twice, to advance to the program’s second national title game. In the championship, the Blazers avenged the earlier loss to UC San Diego and topped the Tritons, 4-1, for the first softball national championship in school history and sixth overall national championship for the school.
In six seasons with Valdosta State, the 2012 GSC Coach of the Year has amassed an impressive record of 343-85, earning his 300th victory at VSU this season as he also topped the list of all-time wins. Macera also notched his 500th career victory. In his six seasons in Valdosta, Macera has never won less than 41 games and has won 50-plus games on three separate occasions, including this season.
For their work this season, Macera and staff also earned the South Region Coaching Staff of the Year award.